States offered longer time to ignore education law

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Education Department says states can ask to ignore requirements of the No Child Left Behind law through the spring of 2016.

It’s an offer that underscores the intensive work states have already undertaken on school reforms in exchange for flexibility from the federal government.

It also shows the grim outlook on whether Congress will act on a new education law. No Child Left Behind expired in 2007 and had goals now seen as too ambitious, such as having all students read and do math at grade level by 2014.

Without waivers, schools that fell short of the law’s original goals could lose federal aid and face other penalties. Schools could lose millions of dollars for helping students from poor families, those learning English or those with learning disabilities.

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